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"Long stand the Tower!" —Karthwatch motto[1]
Type Town
Continent Tamriel
Province Skyrim
Region Karthald
Appears in ESO, Skyrim

Karthwatch was a fortified Nordic town and the capital of Karthald, a historical hold in Skyrim that existed during the Interregnum.[2][3]


2nd Era[edit]

Karthwatch Banner
Broken Tower Redoubt

Karthwatch was established to defend the border against the Reach after Karthald was carved from its northern territory.[4] The Reach was at the time an independent Reachman kingdom ruled by the Despot of Markarth. Karthald was established in 2E 577[5] by the kingdom of Western Skyrim, although Nordic clans had inhabited the land for generations.[2][3] The location for Karthwatch was decided due to its proximity to the ancient Nordic ruins of Bleakridge Barrow, which was thought would make a good defensible position in the event of a Reachman invasion.[6] Karthwatch was considered a spartan settlement with little hospitality to offer for travelers.[2] The banner of Karthwatch featured a stylized tower symbol on a steel blue background.[1]

Karthwatch was destroyed circa 2E 582 by the Icereach Coven and their Reachman allies. The Reachmen created a Harrowstorm above the town in order to drain the life energy of its inhabitants, using their souls to fill ancient reliquaries containing the mortal remains of members of the Gray Host. Many of the residents of Karthwatch were transformed into vampiric monstrosities known as Harrowfiends, including Jarl Olfwenn herself.[7] Others were taken hostage by the witches, although a rescue was mounted by the town's survivors.[8] The sole survivor of the jarl's court was the court wizard, Magister Fridelja, who went on to represent the hold politically in the turmoil that followed.[7]

She and the other survivors sought refuge in Solitude. However, the rest of the hold was similarly laid to waste, its people left dead or scattered. With the Nords driven out and the hold's capital destroyed, Karthald was no more, allowing the territory to be reclaimed by the Reach.[9][10][11] The settlement would eventually transform into the city of Snowhawk by the Third Era, with its location on the plateau later becoming the site of a fort.[UOL 1][12]

4th Era

By the Fourth Era, a ruined fortress called Broken Tower Redoubt sat on the approximate site of Karthwatch.[12] In 4E 201, the Sibyl of Markarth had passed away, and a new one was needed for the House of Dibella in the city. The priesthood had discovered the young girl, Fjotra in Karthwasten, but a group of Reachmen known as the Forsworn had taken her to Broken Tower Redoubt, where a shrine to Dibella was located. From there, the young girl was freed by someone sent by the Temple of Dibella, and taken back to Markarth, where she would serve as the Dibellan Sybil of Markarth.[13]

See Also[edit]


Note: The following references are considered to be unofficial sources. They are included to round off this article and may not be authoritative or conclusive.